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Android Ransomware Threatens To Share Your Browsing History With Your Friends (symantec.com) 160

An anonymous reader writes: The newly discovered Lockdroid ransomware is unique in two ways. First it uses perfectly overlaid popups to trick users into giving it admin privileges. This trick works on devices running Android versions prior to 5.0 (Lollipop), which means 67% of all Android smartphones. Secondly, after it encrypts files and asks for a ransom, it also steals the user's browsing history and contacts list, and blackmails the user to pay the ransom, or his browsing history will be forwarded to his contacts.

Google Fixes Zero-Day Kernel Flaw, Says Effect on Android Not Really That Bad (csoonline.com) 132

itwbennett writes: Google has developed a patch for Android in response to a flaw in the Linux kernel and has shared it with device manufacturers. That doesn't mean the patch will hit users' phones right away, though. It might take weeks. But that's ok, says Google, because most Android devices are unlikely to run vulnerable kernel versions, and those that do are protected by SELinux.

Facebook's Android App Gains Privacy-Enhancing Tor Support (facebook.com) 43

Mark Wilson writes: Back towards the end of 2014, Facebook unveiled a new .onion address that allowed Tor users to visit the social network securely. Following on from this, the company is now giving Android users the ability to browse the site using Tor and the Facebook app. Security, privacy and anonymity may be words readily associated with Tor, but few people would use them in the same sentence as Facebook. The social network says that there is increased demand for secure connections to Facebook from Tor-enabled browsers, hence spreading to the largest mobile platform. The news will make some mobile users happy, but there are currently no plans to migrate the feature from Android to iOS.

Android Banking Malware SlemBunk Part of Well-Organized Campaign (fireeye.com) 35

itwbennett writes: Researchers from FireEye first documented the SlemBunk Android Trojan that targets mobile banking users in December. Once installed, it starts monitoring the processes running on the device and when it detects that a mobile banking app is launched, it displays a fake user interface on top of it to trick users into inputting their credentials. The Trojan can spoof the user interfaces of apps from at least 31 banks from across the world and two mobile payment service providers. The attack is more complicated than it appears at first glance, because the APK (Android application package) that users first download does not contain any malicious functionality, making it hard for antivirus apps and even Android's built-in app scanner to detect it.

BlackBerry To Release More Android Phones In 2016, But No New BB10 Devices (cnet.com) 61

LichtSpektren writes: BlackBerry Ltd. launched its first Android smartphone in October 2015, the BlackBerry Priv. CEO John Chen has commented "so far, so good" on the Priv's sales, two months in. Also in the same month, the BlackBerry developers' blog posted that there are no plans to make enhancements to BlackBerry OS 10 except for privacy and security updates. Now CNET is reporting that BlackBerry will release "one or two" new Android phones in 2016, but nothing with BB10.

Google Confirms Next Android Version Won't Use Oracle's Proprietary Java APIs 215

An anonymous reader writes: Google is ditching the Java application programming interfaces (APIs) in Android and moving to only OpenJDK. The news first came by a "mysterious Android codebase commit" from last month submitted to Hacker News. Google confirmed to VentureBeat that Android N will rely solely on OpenJDK. “As an open-source platform, Android is built upon the collaboration of the open-source community,” a Google spokesperson told VentureBeat. “In our upcoming release of Android, we plan to move Android’s Java language libraries to an OpenJDK-based approach, creating a common code base for developers to build apps and services. Google has long worked with and contributed to the OpenJDK community, and we look forward to making even more contributions to the OpenJDK project in the future.”

TAG Heuer Increasing Weekly Production To Meet Demand For Its Smartwatch (slashgear.com) 86

An anonymous reader writes: According to reports TAG Heuer is struggling to keep up with the high demand for its $1,500 TAG Heuer Connected Android Wear-powered smartwatch. Since its launch in November the company has sold about 100,000 units and plans to crank up production to 2,000 units per week. According to Slashgear: "Jean-Claude Biver, the CEO of Tag Heuer shares that more smartwatch models from the company will be unveiled at the end 2016 or early 2017 – with options of new materials and diamonds. Being the genius that revived brands such as Blancpain and Hublot, Biver has positioned Tag Heuer as the first luxury watchmaker that enters smartwatch business with a 'big bang' and ready to use large eco-system courtesy of Android Wear."

Remix Mini Review: a $70 Android Desktop PC (liliputing.com) 82

walterbyrd writes: Earlier this year, Jide released a 2-in-1 tablet called the Remix Ultra, which shipped with a custom version of Android called Remix OS. The software features a taskbar, a desktop, support for keyboard shortcuts, and support for running many apps either in full-screen mode or in smaller windows. The Remix Ultra tablet comes with a keyboard cover and touchpad, allowing you to use it like a laptop — and it worked... kind of. But the Remix Ultra is also kind of expensive. Now Jide is offering something much more affordable: the Jide Remix Mini is basically a small, low-power desktop computer that ships with Remix OS. After running a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise money (and awareness) this fall, Jide is now shipping the Remix Mini to customers.

Hackers Get Lazy, Build Trojan On Top of Android Rooting Utility (softpedia.com) 53

An anonymous reader writes: Instead of creating their own exploits, some lazy Chinese hackers took the Root Assistant Android rooting toolkit and remodeled it into a trojan, which they packed inside copies of legitimate apps (distributed via unofficial app stores). Until now, only seven apps were repackaged, and only 600 users infected. A weird thing: there's a XML file in the trojan that prevents it from infecting Chinese users.

Ballmer: Microsoft Mobile Should Focus On Android Apps Not Universal Apps (theverge.com) 121

UnknowingFool writes: Former CEO Steve Ballmer had some strong opinions about the direction of Microsoft's mobile strategy. As reported last month, Microsoft's Project Astoria has not been received well and is not going well. The strategy is to help build Windows 10 apps by making universal apps via easy porting from Android. Ballmer questions its effectiveness. "That won't work," he said. Instead he suggested that Windows phones should "run Android apps." This is a dramatic departure from the Microsoft-only focus that Ballmer championed during his tenure as CEO.

Google Previews Android Studio 2.0 (sdtimes.com) 40

dmleonard618 writes: Google is gearing up to release Android Studio 2.0 with three key features. The company has released the preview version of the release, and says it focuses on speed of delivery and testing. The new features include Instant Run, which lets developers see the impact of their code changes; Android Emulator, a rebuilt user interface; and an early preview of a new GPU Profiler that allows developers to record and replay graphics-intensive apps frame by frame.

TAG Heuer Launches "Connected" Android Wear Smartwatch With Intel Inside (hothardware.com) 55

MojoKid writes: Today, TAG Heuer officially announced its Connected Watch, which is its fist watch to run Google's Android Wear operating system. $1,500 may sound like a lot to spend on a smartwatch, but TAG Heuer reckons that the high price tag won't matter given the pedigree attached to its newest wearable. The Connected takes more than a few cues from TAG Heuer's own Carrera analog watch, but replaces the intricately designed and assembled mechanical internals with microchips. TAG Heuer worked closely with both Google and Intel while developing the Connected. The smartwatch is powered by an Intel Atom Z34XX processor and offers Bluetooth LE, Wi-Fi, 4GB of internal storage, gyroscopic sensors and a grade 2 titanium casing./i

Android App Mutates Source Code, Spreads Virally and Enables Mesh Networks (thestack.com) 74

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers from the Delft University of Technology have developed a self-replicating, mutating Android app which can create on-the-fly mesh networks in the event of an infrastructural disaster, or the enabling of internet kill switches by oppressive regimes. The app's source is available at GitHub, and the app itself requires no root privileges to propagate. It can self-compile while it mutates — for example, from a game to a calculator — in transit from one Android device to another, and compatibility with iOS and Windows phones is anticipated.

Google Patches More Stagefright Vulnerabilities In Android (threatpost.com) 56

msm1267 writes: The Stagefright vulnerabilities are the gifts that keep on giving. Months after the potentially devastating security flaws in the mobile OS were publicly disclosed, Google continues to send out patches addressing vulnerabilities related to the initial reports. Today's monthly Android security bulletin includes a fix for another flaw in the Stagefright media playback engine, one in libutils where the Stagefright 2.0 vulnerabilities were found, and two in Android Mediaserver where all the vulnerable code runs. The over-the-air update was released today to Google's Nexus devices and will be added to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) repository in the next two days; Google partners including Samsung were provided the patches on Oct. 5, Google said, adding that the vulnerabilities are patched in Build LMY48X or later, or in Android Marshmallow with a patch level of Nov. 1.

Motorola Unveils Droid Turbo 2, Claims Shatterproof Display, 48 Hour Battery (hothardware.com) 111

MojoKid writes: We've seen leaks and teasers for Motorola's new Droid Turbo 2 Android flagship for weeks. However, the Lenovo-owned company officially announced the smartphone, and it offers two highly sought after features: a long-running battery and a shatterproof display. Its battery has a 3760mAh capacity, allowing the Droid Turbo 2 to operate for up to 48 hours per charge. And if that wasn't enough, Motorola has incorporated Quick Charging support which allows the device to achieve 13 hours of battery life from a mere 15-minute charge. The most talked about feature, however, is its shatterproof display, which Motorola calls Moto ShatterShield. Motorola says that it's "the world's first phone screen guaranteed not to crack or shatter. The display sports a flexible AMOLED panel to absorb shocks, dual touch layers, a rigid aluminum backing, as well as interior and exterior lenses. At the launch event, Motorola was dropping the phone from about 6 feet up, direct to concrete and it was holding up to the abuse just fine.

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